Soup Kitchen needs volunteers
The Homestead Soup Kitchen desperately needs volunteers for cooking, serving and cleaning. No experience is necessary. The kitchen is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with meal preparation beginning shortly after 9 a.m. Serving typically starts at noon and clean-up is usually completed by 1:30 p.m. Volunteer for one day, all three per week, or whenever your schedule allows. Invite a friend or a group to volunteer with you. Call between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on serving days for more information. The address is 105 SW 3rd Avenue, Homestead.
This week at the Elks
Come enjoy the Beatleman tomorrow night at the Florida Keys Elks Lodge. This tribute to the Beatles music will have you and everyone else on the dance floor. A turkey dinner with all the sides plus dessert will be served for $15. Proceeds benefit our local scholarship fund. Call (305) 852-1872 for reservations. Monday is line dancing. Tuesday is yoga on the beach. Wednesday is shuffleboard. Thursday is meatloaf dinner, and Friday is the fish fry and karaoke.
The lodge opens weekdays at 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at noon. The Lodge is located 92600 Overseas Highway, bay side, Tavernier. Mark your calendar for the March 11 Luau Pig Roast Musician's Relief Fundraiser, St. Patrick's Day Party on March 17, and March 25, for the Frank and Dean Dinner Show. Everyone is welcome to events. Hope to see you at the lodge.
Biggest Losers weight-loss challenge back
The Florida Department of Health is partnering with Bayshore Financial Services, PLC in a weight loss competition. Join the Upper Keys Biggest Loser Challenge, which runs from Feb. 24 to April 21. Registration is $30 per person; all proceeds will go to the top-three male and female winners in separate categories. Call (305) 854-7394 or email Hannah.Padgett@flhealth.gov to join.
Luau benefits Good Health Clinic
A Beach Luau at the Angler House Marina at mile marker 80.5, bay side, benefits the Good Health Clinic, which treats locals without health insurance. The event is Feb. 18 from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $100 and include food, an open bar, live entertainment and an auction.
Contact Kate at (305) 619-0154 for more information, or email her at email@example.com. You can also go to the Good Health Clinic’s Facebook page.
Anthropologist to discuss prehistoric Keys
The seventh lecture of this season’s Delicate Balance of Nature” series, sponsored by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, is Wednesday, Feb. 22. The talk will be on “Tracking the Matecumbe: Material Culture of the Prehistoric Florida Keys.” Traci Arden, professor and chair in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Miami will be the presenter.
Initiated in 2009, the Matecumbe Chiefdom Project seeks material evidence of the relationship between prehistoric Florida Key inhabitants and the Calusa. Excavations into the largest preserved midden in the Keys have brought to light new data regarding the nature of prehistoric life in this environment. Arden will address the political organization and environmental adaptations of pre-Columbian inhabitants, comparing them to the well-known Calusa populations.education, engineering, and mathematics, will also show examples of how the art of crochet is used to model both reefs and mathematical concepts.
The park is located at mile marker 102.5, ocean side, and there is no cost to enter the park for the lecture series. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the lecture begins at 7:30. Please help us to accommodate those who are chemically sensitive by not wearing fragrances and other scented products. Contact Elena Muratori, Park Services specialist, at (305) 451-1202. For more information on Florida’s state parks, visit www.floridastateparks.org.
Contra dancing at the library
There will be free contra dancing at the Key Largo Library on Feb. 25, March 11 and April 1 and 15. They begin at 6:30 p.m. in the library’s community room. Contra dance is a folk dance made up of long lines. It is similar to square dancing and you can come solo – you don’t have to bring a partner to participate.
Contra dancing has mixed origins from English country dance, Scottish, French dance styles in the 17th century, with strong African influence from Appalachia. The Key Largo Library is located in the Publix Tradewinds Shopping Plaza, 101485 Overseas Highway, Key Largo. Call (305) 451-2396 for more information.
AARP safe driving class
If you want to save money on your car insurance and are over 50 years of age, then this class is for you. This one day AARP safe driving class is Feb. 22 (Wednesday ) from 9 a.m. until 2ish. You will need to bring a lunch to the Plantation Key Sheriffs Office (down the street from Boardwalk Pizza) 50 High Street.
The class cost $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members. Call Mary Lou at (305) 394-3878.
History of filming in the Keys
The history of filming in the Keys will be presented by syndicated film critic Shirrel Rhoades as part of the Keys History & Discovery Center Presents lecture series. The presentation is the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 22 at center, which opens at 5 p.m. and the presentation begins at 6 p.m.
Rhoades, a writer, publisher, professor and filmmaker, will discuss the vast history of filmmaking in the Keys, which had its first start in 1898 with Thomas Edison. During the Golden Age of Hollywood, Rose Tattoo and Beneath the 12-Mile Reef were filmed in the Keys. In following years, films about World War II, such as Operation Petticoat and PT 109 recreated scenes from other tropical locales. Mainstream movies filmed in the Keys in later years include Cuba Crossing, Running Scared, License to Kill, True Lies and 2 Fast 2 Furious, and of course the Netflix series, Bloodline. Rhoades will discuss the benefits of filming in the Florida Keys and how these films impacted the recognition of the Keys as a tourist attraction.
Members of the Keys History & Discovery Center are free. Admission for non-members is $25 and includes admission to the exhibit as well as light appetizers. A cash bar will be available. Reservations are suggested and can be made at (305) 922-2237 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reading group to discuss Jeff Bezos book
The Key Largo Library reading group will meet at 7 p.m. on Feb. 21 at mile marker 101.4 in the Tradewinds shopping center, in the library’s community room. The group will discuss The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the age of Amazon by Brad Stone.
‘Jeff Bezos wasn't content with being a book seller. He wanted Amazon to become the everything store, offering limitless selection and seductive convenience at disruptively low prices. To do so, he developed a corporate culture of relentless ambition and secrecy that's never been cracked. Until now,’ states a group press release.
Islamorada Moose Lodge happening
The Moose Lodge is open Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Join us for happy hour 4 to 7 p.m. daily. Chef Calvin if now cooking up a steak and eggs combo along with all the usual items.
The Islamorada Seafood Festival and Art Show will be held March 19. Entry forms will be ready soon at the Lodge for Vendors of Fine Art and Seafood dishes. If you would like to volunteer to help with the planning of the event, call the Lodge and leave your name, phone number and email.
February 10, 11 and 12 in honor of Valentine’s Day Chef Calvin will be making a Rib and Bib by reservation only. This will feature a prime rib and whole Maine lobster dinner for you and your sweetie. Sign up at the Lodge in advance for this great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day early.
Monday is Poker starting at 6 p.m.. Tuesdays join us for our special card game. Wednesday is burgers, beer and bingo at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5 to 8:30 p.m., the lodge will offer a choice of hamburgers along with parmesan French fries and pickle spear for $12, appetizer trio for $14 and three other featured dinners of the week.
Try Chef Calvin’s new appetizers — French onion soup, spinach and artichoke dip, smoked fish spread and our new gucci garden pizza. Also available for the kids are chicken finger and grilled chicken strip baskets. You can also bring your own catch. Call the lodge for the featured dinner menu at (305) 664-8120 to make reservations. Saturday and Sunday Chef Calvin’s new football menu is available all day each day.
We have the NFL and NCAA football packages for watching your favorite teams. Check us out on Face book at Islamorada Moose Lodge.
Progressive drinking group meetings
The Key Largo Chapter of Drinking Liberally will meet every third Thursday at Denny's at 5 p.m. to exchange ideas on how to deal with current issues. Denny's is located at mile marker 97.6 in the median. For more information, contact Bob Maynard at email@example.com
This week at the Sailing Club
Sailors and those interested in sailing are welcome to come by the Upper Keys Sailing Club Friday night at 6:30 p.m. for TGIF. Bring a dish to share and spend some quality time with your fellow sailors.
The Moths are racing at the Upper Keys Sailing Club this weekend. Visit one of the restaurants on Buttonwood Sound for the best viewing. Anyone who would like to visit the club to watch these fascinating boats on Friday or Saturday should call the club ahead at (305) 451-9972 or email our Fleet Captain Sara Kahler at firstname.lastname@example.org for an invitation to visit.
Classes for beginner and intermediate youth sailors have resumed. Please call Rosa Lamela at (305) 747-2600 or email her at email@example.com to sign up for the Mark Sorensen Youth Sailing Program or get more details.
To learn more about the Upper Keys Sailing Club, visit www.upperkeyssailingclub.com or join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Upper-Keys-Sailing-Club/159436667412731 or email our vice commodore at firstname.lastname@example.org. You are invited to stop by the club at 100 Ocean Bay Drive (mile marker 100 bayside) any Friday for TGIF starting at 6:30 p.m. to learn more about club activities and possibly apply for membership.
Mariners hosting health fair
There’s something for everyone in the family at the Mariners Hospital Family Health & Wellness Fair, taking place Saturday, Feb. 18, 9 a.m.-12 noon, on the hospital campus. Take advantage of free health screenings, including cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, body composition, osteoporosis, and more. Enjoy one-on-one conversations with professionals from Mariners Hospital and other health-related organizations, and even take a tour of the hyperbaric chamber.
In addition to educational opportunities for the kids, there will be face painting, an inflatable obstacle course, a fire rescue truck display, music, games, healthy snacks, and treats. For more information, call (305) 434-3000.
AARP looking for tax volunteers
AARP Tax-Aide is looking for volunteers to help people file their federal income tax returns. Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome. You do not need to be an AARP member or retiree to volunteer.
Volunteers receive both online and classroom tax training (good computer skills and tax preparation experience are essential) and may be reimbursed for qualified expenses such as mileage. Once certified, they help customers one day a week at neighborhood tax sites in Key Largo, Marathon and Big Pine Key from Feb. 1 through April 15. Last year AARP Tax-Aide volunteers helped more than 600 taxpayers in Monroe County.
For more information about joining the Tax-Aide team, please call Edie Korotkin at (305) 849-6948.
Seniors to hear about coping with grief
The next meeting of the Key Largo Library's Senior Moments group will be Monday, Feb. 27,, at 10:30 a.m. in the Key Largo Library's Community room, mile marker 101.4 in the Tradewinds Shopping Plaza. The guest speaker is Carol Schweitzer. She will discuss how grief is process not an event. All are welcome and light refreshments will be served. For further information call Kathy Gong at (305) 394-4006
United Way seeking tax volunteers
United Way of the Florida Keys is looking for volunteers to assist with a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offered free to taxpayers with low or moderate incomes. VITA is an IRS program designed to help qualified taxpayers complete their annual tax returns at no cost. VITA volunteers are trained to ensure low-income families who qualify for the Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit, Education Credits, Dependent Care Credit, or any other relevant credits, receive them appropriately.
The goal of the program is to help families and individuals file their taxes and grow their savings, promoting financial stability in our community. Clients do not pay a fee for these services.Volunteers receive free training on how to prepare a tax return. All volunteers will be IRS certified tax preparers, and will be able to assist taxpayers with simple tax returns.
Contact Loretta Geotis at email@example.com or call (305) 797-1704.
Free tax preparation
United Way of the Florida Keys is offering free tax preparation for families with limited incomes who live in Monroe County. The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program is designed to assist qualified taxpayers with completion of their annual tax returns and to ensure that limited income families receive every available benefit. Tax preparers are IRS-certified and prepared to complete simple tax returns. Returns will include
The tax preparation is offered at the following locations: Thursday, Feb. 23 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Marathon Library; Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, 2221 Patterson Avenue in Key West; Friday, Feb. 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Center for Independent Living, 103400 Overseas Highway, suite 243 in Key Largo’s Pink Plaza; Monday, Feb. 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Islamorada Librady, mile marker 81.5, bayside; and Thursday, March 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative, mile marker 91.6 in Tavernier.
Writers group to meet
The next meeting of the Latitude 25 Writers will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at the Key Largo Library Community Room, mile marker 101.4 in the Tradewinds Shopping Plaza.
The writers have been helping one another improve poems, prose and other literary adventures since 1978. All are welcome whether you bring something to read or just want to listen in. The group’s motto is “Leave your ego at the door.”
There are no fees or dues. For further information call Steve Gibbs at 305-451-4164.
Get your quilt on
Attention all quilters. A Pennsylvania company organized three events for 2017 where “you can be your quilting self.” The next getaway is also in Lancaster, from March 30 to April 2. The final quilting getaway is Nov. 10-13 in Reboboth Beach, Delaware. Go to www.QuiltTimeGetaway.com for more information.
Upper Keys Irish Festival
The 18th annual Irish Festival is Saturday, March 11 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Caribbean Club, mile marker 104 bay side. Proceeds benefit Key Largo School athletics. There will be a parade, corn beef dinner, live entertainment and a kids zone. Call Tiffany Zepeda at (352) 870-8249 or Ryan Smith at (305) 395-0512 for more information. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
International food served up
A “Taste Around the World” culinary experience Saturday in Key Largo benefits the Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of the Florida Keys.
Staff with several restaurants will provide food and drink tastings in the event, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center at mile marker 102. Cost is $85 per person at the door (discount for early registration).
A “follies” performance with emcee Ivana Richmond and awards will be included. Authors of “Bloodline: A Local’s Guide to 50 Famous Film Locations” will be on hand. Call (305) 320-0507 for more information.
Bicycle poker run set for Islamorada
What’s called the Florida Keys Bicycle Poker Run rides through Islamorada on March 4.
Registration starts at 9 a.m. at the Coconut Cove Resort at mile marker 84.8. Bicyclists ride through neighborhoods that tourists seldom see. Along the designated route, entrants receive a playing card at each of five stations. At the final station back at Coconut Cove, hands will be unveiled and the winners announced. The grand prize is a Yeti Tundra 65 cooler. There will also be a cookout for registrants and a silent auction.
Cost to enter is $40, which includes lunch, an event T-shirt and poker hand. Students pay $20. Children under 12 are free. To get a $5 break on registration, enter by March 3. For additional information, contact Mike at (305) 664-8258 or email@example.com. The event is staged by the Florida Keys Gator Club, a fan club of University of Florida sports.
Hear about Sandy Cornish
The Matecumbe Historical Trust will host this month’s free presentation on Monday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in Island Community Church, mile marker 83. Guest speaker Jeff Stotts presentation will be on Key West first (recorded) successful farming enterprise and the iconic Sandy Cornish. Cornish was born a slave in Maryland in about 1793 and migrated to Florida in 1839.
He was an African American farmer, business person and civic leader in Key West. He was a former slave who had purchased his freedom, and to prevent being returned to slavery, he publicly maimed himself. Cornish's farm was an iconic part of Key West during the middle 1800s. It was a prominent fixture on U.S. government survey maps and was introduced to the world in one of the leading horticultural magazines of the era. In the late 1840s, Cornish was one of the richest men in Key West and a leader of the African-American community.
Stotts is an environmental horticulturist with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Science. For more information call Barbara at (305) 393-0940. The presentation is free and open to the public.
Art Guild to meet
The monthly meeting of the Art Guild of the Purple Isles is Wednesday, March 1, at the Tavernier Elks Lodge, located on the Overseas Highway, mile marker 92.6. Doors open at 9:30 for the chance to socialize with your fellow artists prior to the meeting's 10 a.m. start.